For months prior to being drafted, a college prospect is subjected to a series of interviews, physical workouts and numerous tests in order to begin the process of earning a spot on an NFL roster.
For Aidan Hutchinson, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, actually stepping foot on the field provides a sense of normalcy that is coveted.
All the talking is finally put aside and the work begins to prove why a team investing that high of a draft selection made the correct call.
Hutchinson spoke to the media on Saturday following a rookie minicamp practice and shared his initial thoughts of playing in Detroit and what he felt like inking his name to his initial rookie deal that ended up being worth $ 35.7 million.
“It’s great. This is what I do,” he said. “At the end of the day, all that talk – I hate the talk. It’s been a lot of months of talking. A lot of rah-rah. But now we’re out here getting the work in, which is what I do. “
The Lions organization has been on record since the draft ended explaining why the 21-year-old talented defensive lineman was the choice with the No. 2 overall pick.
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“He’s a perfect fit for us,” head coach Dan Campbell told reporters prior to practice. “He really is everything that we’re about. And he matches us perfectly. And I’ve said this before, it just so happened to be that he was in the backyard. It wasn’t because of that. But, that’s icing on the cake that he was right down the road. So, I just feel like it was meant to be. And he belongs here. When you’re going to pick guys, particularly that high, they better fit everything that you’re about And he does that. “
Stepping foot on the football field will allow the 6-foot-7, 260-pound lineman to showcase his freakish athleticism and natural abilities to become a disruptor at the next level.
“A lot of good people here,” Hutchinson said. “I think we definitely got the right people in place to start winning some ballgames.”
Prior to the start of rookie minicamp, seven of the Lions ’eight draft picks officially signed their initial NFL deal.
For Hutchinson, actually donning the No. 97 at the pro level may take some getting used to.
“It was great. It’s weird being here, with 97, being in Detroit. In Michigan. It’s wild to be in the position that I’m in,” he explained, when asked about the day he signed his name to a rookie deal . “Super grateful. I’m going to make the most of it.”